President Obama descended on the flood-damaged city of Memphis on Tuesday, taking photographs with residents and delivering a commencement speech at a local high school. While offering no substantial federal relief to ruined communities along the swollen Mississippi, the president used the day to promote his rightwing education policies, insisting that poverty could not be cited as an obstacle to achievement.
Speaking before the graduating class at Booker T. Washington High School, Obama extolled the virtues of individual hard work as the key to success, presenting himself as a model. The multimillionaire occupant of the White House, who owes his political fortunes to financial backing from Wall Street and other corporate interests, doled out a somewhat sugarcoated version of the social Darwinist nostrums of free market capitalism.
I'm so tired of Barack and his damn 'responsibility' talk. When people are victims, they need help and assistance, not high & mighty lectures.
These families are suffering due to the flooding and due to an ineffective plan for how to address the flooding. That's on government, not individuals.
The arrogance of Barack is astounding.
They need help and he gives them more of his 'pretty words.' Did you hear the story about Cornel West?
Cornel was a major member of the Cult of St. Barack.
Well he gave an interview to Chris Hedges and Hedges wrote it up.
So Cornel campaigned (and whored -- take accountability, Cornel) for Barack and got no thanks or appreciation for that. But Barack storms up to him recently at an event, waiving his finger at Cornel, stabbing it in the air and shouting 'how dare you say I'm not a progressive!' The vanity on Barack.
Now the only time I ever hear of Kashmir is when Arundhati Roy writes about it or speaks about it. Arundhati was a brave and important voice against the Iraq War when few were. For that reason alone, we should make a point to note the ongoing struggle in Kashmir. This is from an interview she did with David Barsamian:
Why isn’t Kashmir getting more international attention?
Good question. When the uprisings happened in Egypt, and when people moved into Tahrir Square, I, being somebody who has sort of followed the ways in which the international media reports things, began to wonder. Why does it choose some uprisings and not others? Because the bravery of people, whether it’s in Egypt or whether it’s in Kashmir or whether it’s in the Congo, wherever it’s going on, one is not questioning that. But why will the international, Western media, in particular, pick up one and switch the lights off on the other? That’s really the question.
As we saw in Egypt, you had this kind of breathless reporting about this move for democracy, and then the headlines actually said “Egypt is Free, Military Rule.” Why will they not talk about Kashmir and talk about Egypt? It’s just your politics, isn’t it? Egypt is so important for the Americans and the Western establishment to control, because without Egypt the siege of Gaza doesn’t exist. And you know that Hosni Mubarak, if you read the papers from a few months ago, was ill, was dying. There had to be a replacement. There was going to be a real problem during the handover of power. I don’t think that it will necessarily succeed, but I think the attempt was to kind of use and direct peoples’ energy in a sort of controlled-fission experiment. But so far as Kashmir goes, right now the Afghanistan, Pakistan, India equation vaults over Kashmir.
It’s not something that the international world—the world of corporations, the world of markets, the world of even strategic geopolitics—sees as something that’s going to change the status quo. There are deals being made. The West needs Pakistan very badly. It cannot do anything with Afghanistan unless Pakistan is on board. And yet it needs India badly for two reasons: one is the great, huge, big market; and the other is as a very willing fallback for a presence in South Asia, given the rise of China. So it is seen as a stable and willing ally right now that should not be ignored. So to annoy India on Kashmir is not something that strategically suits the Western powers right now.
A week before candidate Obama was elected in 2008, he announced that Kashmir would be among his “critical tasks.” How was that comment received in Delhi? And what has Obama done since then to follow up? He was in India in November of 2010.
That comment was treated with absolute and righteous outrage by the Indian establishment. And I think it was made very clear to him, or to anybody who says anything about Kashmir internationally, that the Indian establishment will use everything in its power to make sure that people back down. And Obama backed down. He came here at a time when the streets of Kashmir were full of young people calling for azadi, when already many people had been killed. And he said nothing.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):